1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In Nigeria, truancy is one of the most serious antisocial discipline issues among secondary school students. Researchers have paid a lot of attention to the notion and acts of indiscipline. Various behavioral disorders such as stealing, violence, drug abuse, examination malpractice, sexual abuse, and truancy, according to Adeloye, (2008), have harmed effective teaching-learning processes to the point where some teachers have become helpless and disorganized in their task of imparting knowledge to students.
Education can be defined as the transfer of a culture's value and accumulation of information, as well as the shaping of adult behavior and guiding them toward a future role in society. Education is not only intended to assist people in becoming valuable members of society, but it should also assist them in developing an appreciation for their cultural heritage and leading more fulfilling lives (Ma’aruf, 2005).
Staying in school, on the other hand, is the first step toward a solid education. Students are expected by school law to attend lessons every day in order to attain academic achievement, however various causes have prompted the majority of students to miss school events, resulting in "truancy." It is common knowledge that Nigerian educational standards are deteriorating due to absenteeism and other anti-social issues like as cultism, indiscipline, and so on. Individual willingness to study is partly responsible for the formation of individuals who will aid Nigeria's growth. This means that it is critical to attend school and, more crucially, lessons if educational goals are to be met.
Ma'aruf (2005) identified four primary home characteristics that contribute to truancy, including:
Poor child-parent relationships; poor physical conditions at home; use of corporal punishment in the home and lack of parental concern in the child's development. Ubogu (2004) highlighted illness, financial difficulties, age, social status, geographic area, and institutional problems such as teacher attitude, bad management, and high educational costs as causes of absenteeism. Among the causes of truancy among school pupils in 2005 were distance to school, school discipline, family history, and school location. In their study, Siziya, Muula, & Rudatsikira (2017) discovered that truancy teenagers were more likely to participate in risky sexual behavior, illicit drug usage, alcohol consumption, and cigarette smoking.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Carrol (1996) discovered that absenteeism and poor school attendance are more common in large households where the father is a manual worker. Similarly, Brillingston (1998) & Ma'aruf (2005) found a strong link between household circumstances and persistent absenteeism without parental knowledge in their investigations. Truancy can lead to poor academic performance, the loss of friends and partners, and disturbance in the classroom. Returning absentees have an impact on other students' behavior, the difficulty of keeping correct records, the capacity to meet instructional targets, and the school's reputation (Oghuvu, 2006).
According to studies, students' attendance has a good association with their academic success. Lateness was more common among female students than male pupils, according to (Emore, 2005). This happened as a result of their parents' involvement in household chores.
According to Obemeata, Adeboyeje, & Obayan's (1995) research, the physical environment of a school has a significant impact on students' academic achievement. However, Akinwumi and Ayeni, Fareo & Okotoni, (2003) and others argued that there was no substantial association between pupils' academic achievement and their physical environment. Truancy, crime, and violent behavior may be viewed as educational, social, and law enforcement issues. Student truancy jeopardizes their prospects of achieving any educational aspirations (Siziya, Tuula & Rudatsikira, 2007). The school has been developed as a social agent to shape children's habits, interests, attitudes, and sentiments, as well as to transfer societal norms, culture, values, and traditions from one generation to the next. Despite this, some students continue to miss school. Fear of adolescent aberrant and unhealthy conduct is a persistent source of concern for millions of individuals throughout the world. Youth violence/crime is a global problem, and the rise in deviant conduct among young people has been a major source of concern over the last two decades (Wiarimu, 2013). Many of our pupils are now involved in a variety of activities that may jeopardize their academic achievement. The problem of crime, unhealthy behavior, and truancy in our schools must not be ignored; otherwise, it will become even more concerning than it has been in the past. Secondary school students' behavior is clearly influenced by a variety of circumstances. An inquiry is required to gather additional information and clarity on the effects of truancy on academic performance in secondary schools.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The primary objective of this study is to examine the effect of truancy on academic performance in secondary schools. Other objectives of this study are:
i. To examine the relationship between truancy and academic performance of students in secondary schools.
ii. To determine the different truant behaviour displayed by students in secondary schools
iii. To determine the causes of truant behaviour displayed by students in secondary schools
iv. To determine the different ways by which the truant behaviour displayed by students in secondary schools can be curbed.